Hymenoxys texana

Common Names:
prairie dawn, Texas bitterweed
(Coult. & Rose) Cockerell
Growth Habit:
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Dave Berkshire
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

The conservation of Hymenoxys texana is fully sponsored.
Dave Berkshire contributed to this Plant Profile.


Prairie dawn is a member of the sunflower family, but this small annual only reaches a height of seven inches and so is often overlooked. This plant is found only in the open grasslands of the northern part of the Gulf Prairie region of Harris and Fort Bend Counties of Texas. In late winter its oblong, somewhat fleshy leaves cluster at the plant base and in late February to April a small (0.15-0.23 inch long) round head of yellow disk flowers appears. The minute ray flowers are concealed by the bracts. The plant sets seeds from April to May and dies before the bare ground dries and cracks in the summer heat. The seeds are cone-shaped and hairy. (Stark 1996).

Prairie Dawn was first collected near Hockley in Harris County, Texas in 1889. Thought to be extinct (Correll and Johnston 1979), the plant was rediscovered north of Cypress in Harris County in 1981 by James Kessler (Mahler 1982 & 1983).

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research